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The Dirty Little Secret About Hair Typing

Posted on October 25 2016

Ever been with a group of women with curly hair and the conversation is all about their hair texture? We've all been there but here's what you don't know. Your curl texture is only one piece of the puzzle. Your hair type alone is not as important as your Curl ID. While knowing your hair texture is important it doesn't provide you with insight into the detailed behaviors of your curls. To truly understand your texture you must dig deeper. Everyone has a Curl ID, a unique signature like a fingerprint that is specific to you. Your Curl ID, is a combination of factors that include your curl pattern but include several other measurements. 

Porosity

Porosity is a measurement of how quickly your hair absorbs and releases water. 

High Porosity hair absorbs water easily making it easy to be moisturized. However, it also releases water easily making it difficult to maintain moisture. High porosity hair has likely been damaged through chemical processing and or coloring. If you have high porosity hair using a ACV rinse after cleansing will help temporarily close your cuticles extending the time your hair maintains moisture and preventing it from drying out so quickly.

Medium (normal) Porosity hair absorbs and releases water at an ideal rate. Medium porosity hair is easy to moisturize and it stays moisturized for more than a day. If you have medium porosity hair too much product will weigh your hair down making it greasy and limp.

Low Porosity hair is resistant. It's difficult to absorb water and is often extremely dry. With low porosity hair moisturizing your hair begins during your wash routine. Every step builds on the previous one with each step designed to add moisture for lush curls. Because moisturizing your hair is difficult avoid ingredients that drain the little bit of moisture that you have from your hair. Low porosity hair should never use cleansers with sulfates and gels, sprays, or mousse with drying alcohols.

Volume

The volume of your hair is more than how much space your hair takes up or if it lays flat to your head. Volume is determined by how many hair strands you have for every 1 square inch. The more hair strands you have the more volume your hair will have. The less strands you have the less volume it will have. Volume has nothing to do with how thick or thin (see Strand Size) your hair is. You can have thin hair that has a lot of volume to it or thick hair that has minimal volume. 

Strand Size

Strand size is how plump your individual strands are.  Fine strands, often referred to as thin hair, are very soft and don't have much elasticity. If you roll a single fine strand between your fingers you wouldn't feel it and may not be able to see it. Coarse strands, thick hair, is the opposite. It's resilient, strong and very elastic. If you roll it between your fingers it will feel wiry and be very visible to the eye.

These three measures, porosity, volume, and strand size, combined with your curl pattern give you a full scope of your hair. Outside factors such as stress, health, hormones and age can cause your hair to change. The best way to care for your hair is to stay abreast of your Curl ID and review every characteristic annually or every 6 months. If your Curl ID has changed make adjustments in your hair care routine that compliment your new Curl ID.

Has knowing more about your hair helped you to manage your curls?  

 

 

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